Special Maori Encounters

Norm Hatch and his team appeared to enjoy their encounters with Māori. They learned haka and waiata. The photos and films of their time with Māori are filled with wonder and delight.

Te Puea Herangi arranged a series of visits to Ngaruawahia to introduce the Marines to Māori culture. In Wellington, Ngati Pōneke entertained wounded men at Silverstream Hospital. In Rotorua, Guide Rangi made it her personal business to show Marines around Whakarewarewa.

Over the summer of 1942-3, Marines developed a strong affection for Māori and their generous hospitality. Whether staying on Marae around Gisborne, or being hosted by Hapū along the Whanganui River, Marines actively sought out encounters with Māori.

More than 500 Marines attended the annual regatta for King Koroki at Ngaruawahia and hundreds more attended the investiture of Moananui-a-kiwa Ngarimu VC at his home marae at Ruatoki.

Wounded men took up Māori carving as occupational therapy at the Hospitals. Marines also learned to say 'Tēnā koe' and to abide by the tikanga of hui.

Photo Gallery

Please click on images to read the original captions

External Links

From New Zealand History online: Americans and Māori